Category Archives: Simone Loves

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Beauty Products

Products I’m Loving Right Now

Beauty Products

Beauty Products

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I thought I’d do a quick update on what products I’m loving right now, as a lot of what I’m using has changed dramatically in the last couple of months.

I’m all about good skin at the moment, with a nice dewy finish. My skin is quite dry so I’ve been using a lot of liquid and cream products. For everyday use I love Kiehl’s BB Cream, I did a full review of it here so I won’t go on too much suffice to say it’s my favourite BB cream of all time. For evening and for medium to full coverage days I’ve been using Chanel Vita Lumiere cream compact. I only picked this up about 2 weeks ago and honestly, I absolutely love it. I love the texture, the coverage, how it feels on the skin and it looks so beautiful when it’s on – like my own skin, only 10 times better! I also love throwing it in my handbag for a night out as it’s perfect for touch ups.

As far as bronzing goes, I’m using Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel – I gave this a rather mediocre review when I first got my hands on it but we’ve since had a heart to heart and I think we understand each other better now. That, and that fact that I’m all about being tan these days! My blush of choice is a beautiful cream blush from Topshop called Neon Rose, I apply this with a stippling brush for a nice bit of sheen on the cheeks and it usually lasts all day.

I blogged about one of Chanel’s new collections recently and I’m still obsessively using ‘Seduction’, a most delicious eyeshadow palette filled with four of my favourite shades. That, coupled with Urban Decay pencils, Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara and MUFE Brow Gel to shape my brows and you have a perfect combination. In terms of lip products, Bourjois Rouge Edition lipsticks are really floating my boat. I’m using a few of the shades but number 10 is my absolute favourite; it’s a super creamy strawberry red that looks gorgeous as a stain during the day or as a full on statement lip at night.

And there you have it, my current favourites! Are any of your everyday essentials in there?

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Simone Loves… Vichy Dermablend Ultra-Corrective Stick

The full name of this product is actually Vichy Dermablend Ultra-Corrective Foundation Cream-Stick, but geez I had to shorten it for the purpose of making the post title sound a bit zippy, which is still doesn’t. Anyways, due to a rather extreme volcano-like eruption on my face last week I resumed use of this product. Normally, its something that lives in my professional kit and doesn’t see the light of (personal use) day so, I thought it was about time I extolled it’s many many virtues.

Those virtues are (in the following order); that it’s amazing and, if you don’t own it and you need to conceal angry lumpy bumpy spots, scarring, redness, pigmentation, tattoo’s or any other blemishes then you really should own it, and that’s about it really. There is also a liquid version of this, which I won’t go into too much detail about, suffice to say it’s also excellant (Dee from Viva Adonis did a rather fabulous review of it recently) – but, the cream stick really floats my boat. It’s incredibly pigmented, super easy to work into the skin with fingers or a brush and most importantly, it stays in place. The formulation is thick and creamy, with an almost damp feel, which makes it a dream to use. I couldn’t have survived without it the last week, as dramatic as that sounds. I don’t think I would have actually left the house!

If I remember correctly, it retails for the equivalent of about 15 euro, although I could be wrong about that. A little more than most of us would pay for a concealer, but my god it’s worth it. I literally can’t recommend this enough.

That’s all for now I’m afraid. Due to a sudden dose of illness and the fact that I am currently schlepping around the wilds of Ireland, my poor beloved blog has been a bit neglected. Regular activity will resume in a few days!

 

Or as I like to call it, The One That Changed Everything. Yes, I know I’m occasionally prone to outbursts of drama when describing a product but there’s really nothing I can say that will do this little bottle justice. This is the serum to end all serum’s. A potent miracle that provides a high concentration of 10.5% pure Vitamin C to turn your skin into the sleek radiant wonder it should be.

A friend of mine was using this and raved about it’s benefit’s so naturally, I had to try it. As we don’t have Kiehls in Bahrain I waited (impatiently) until I was in Kuwait last week to get it. It cost around 16KD, which is about 21BD/40e for 50ml of product. The very lovely SA recommended that I use it only at night-time as it is too intensive for daytime use. Well, when she said that, I was sold! Too intensive? I’m there!

It claims to boost skin texture and radiance, reducing crow’s feet, wrinkles and other small lines as it goes, and my my my, it surely does that. I actually can’t believe what this has done to my skin, and after only a mere 4 days of using it. The formula is light and pleasant to use, it blends easily into the skin and very little product is required, two pumps will cover the whole face. Every time I apply it I get a warm sensation on my skin, which is the Vitamin C kicking in and (according to the packaging) it’s very normal. I can’t say much more about this except this is hands down the best serum I have ever used and so far, it’s completely exceeded my expectations, my skin is smoother and more radiant than it has been in a long long time. Holy Grail product? Yes yes and yes!

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Simone Loves… Chanel Graphite

I picked this up the same day I bought the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre Shadows. Although I mooned over Peridot a little bit, which is another shade in the collection, it was just too green toned for me. I couldn’t see myself wearing it. This however, is a whole other story. Look how pretty it is. It’s grey, it’s silver, it’s sparkly, what’s not to love?

The one downside is that it takes an age to remove if you’re using a cotton disk dabbed with nail polish remover. Better to dip your nails in a shallow bowl of remover instead and leave it soak for a minute or 2.

Apart from this, I’m in love.

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Simone Loves… Alpha-H Micro Cleanse

This is a new-ish addition to my skincare regimen. I’ve used Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant for years and such was my reluctance to try something new that I ignored all the good things I was hearing about Alpha-H… for about 5 minutes. Micro Cleanse caught my eye in particular as it contains Glycolic Acid, one of my all time favorite skin resurfacing  ingredients.

Alpha-H say the granulated formula helps dislodge oil, dirt and dead skin cells, refines skin and reveals a new freshness. Granulated means there are little scrubber type beads in the cream. As I have oily skin, I’m always a little wary of this as sometimes it can encourage your skin to produce more oil. Fortunately, it hasn’t done that and so I’ll start raving about this right about now.

I love this cleanser. Shall I go on? I love love love this cleanser. It’s incredibly effective and yet very gentle. My skin feels amazing after I use this; smoother softer and visibly brighter. It’s very easy to use too. Squeeze a thumbnail sized amount into your hand and massage gently all over the face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Work it in for about 2 minutes and rinse with warm water. Additionally, it smells fabulous; fresh and zesty.  I’ve been using it about twice a week for a couple of weeks now and have really noticed a difference in my skin. After the first few uses I expected a bit of a breakout but nothing happened, which makes me love it even more!

It cost 23.50GBP from Beauty Expert, who conveniently offer free worldwide shipping. I’m considering trying out some other products from Alpha-H now so watch this space…

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Simone Loves… Nuxe Golden Shimmer

What’s that song? It goes something like, ‘I’m in love, I’m in love, looooove”. I could leave it at that but I suppose I should give a bit more background as to why I’ve fallen head over heals for this product!

So, what is it exactly? Well, you might just have to ask yourself what is it not!  Nuxe Multi-Usage Dry Oil is a multi use oil (no way) that can be used to give a shimmering glow on hair face and body. What I really like about it is the formula; it’s silicone and preservative free and contains 6 plant oils which also aid in improving the appearance of stretch marks!  It’s a pump action spray that glides on to the skin, blends in beautifully and amazingly doesn’t leave a too-oily residue. It also smells delicious, like summer nights and palm tree’s. It’s uber shimmery, so looks great on an existing tan, on bare legs for a night out or just for a subtle touch of sparkle.

The only downside (why does there always have to be one!) is the price. I paid 22BD (220AED, 44euro) for the above bottle. More then I would usually pay for a body oil  but it’s just so amazing i don’t care! If you’re a little less frivolous then me, you can always opt for the smaller, and more purse friendly, 50ml bottle for half the price!

Anyone else already using this?

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Simone Loves… Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream’s are a staple in my professional kit. They come in a range of vibrant shades from electric blue to coral to jewel toned golds and greens.

There are 22 shades in total. According to the Make Up For Ever website only some can be used on the lips and cheeks and others can be used on the eyes and cheeks. Personally, I have used most shades on all three area’s with no problems. Always make sure to really prime the area, such as the eyes or lips, before application to prevent staining.

My current favorites are in the shot above; 10, a vibrant juicy orange, 21, a bright electric blue, 11, a light shimmery gold, 13 a silvery toned pink, 19 a deep matte purple and 9, a light matte coral.

The pigmentation in the creams is immense, with one swatch offering fantastic payoff. They blend beautifully, but as with all waterproof products you need to work fast. They dry within about 10 seconds.

The downside to these products is the price, they’re certainly not cheap. Here in Bahrain, they cost about 10BD (20 euro), for 6 grams of product. Not exactly a steal, even though the products goes quite a long way.

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Simone Loves… MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow

I went a bit mad yesterday and decided to organize some of my makeup collection, in hindsight not the smartest decision I ever made. I emerged 5 hours later, covered in makeup and no more organised then I was before! What I did notice however is that the last few months have seen a distinct leaning towards MAC Mineralize eye shadows. I appear to have developed a bit of a thing for them without really noticing! The packaging, colour pay-off and downright prettiness gets me every time. That, coupled with the fact they look even more amazing when applied wet rendered me helpless to their power!

The picture above is of my current favourite’s. The latest addition’s (which I blogged about recently) are Smoked Ruby (bottom right) and Golden Gaze (top right) both of which hail from the Semi-Precious collection (Golden Gaze looks on the skinny side as it broke in the packaging, boo, hiss etc). Both shades, I think you’ll agree are thing’s of great beauty.

Top left is Semi-Precious, a gorgeous deep matte purple which I think was part of the Tartan Tale collection. I like using this for a deep purple smoky eye as its such a dramatic shade. Top centre is Lovestone, a supremely pretty unusual shade, reddish pink shot through with gold and purples. I usually wear this wet as the sheen off it is just incredible.

Last but not least is Under Your Spell, bottom left. This is probably one of the oldest one’s I have, I got it about 2 years ago in Singapore. As far as I know, it’s part of the permanent collection so is still readily available. The two shades are beautiful, a lavender super shimmery purple and a deep super reflective gold. Both gorgeous on their own but layered over each other and they are just phenomenal.

I’m always looking out for pretty mineralize eye shadow’s so tell me your favorites and I will hunt them down!

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Simone Loves… Benefit They’re Real Mascara

Behold! The latest mascara offering from Benefit Cosmetics; They’re Real. I was super excited to try this as I am both a mascara-holic and long time fan of the amazing Bad Gal Mascara.

The first thing that struck me was the packaging. Although its fab, the sleek metallic design is quite a departure for Benefit who usually opt for girlie cute designs. This new wonder mascara claims to lengthen, curl, lift, separate and volumize as well as last a long time, not dry out and wash the dishes.  When I first saw the wand (which looks kind of weapon-like), I wasn’t sure if it was going to float my boat as I’m usually a fan of super huge mascara brushes but… by god! (as my Father In Law would say) I was wrong! See below..

This is an amazing mascara. Truly. The bristles grab every single lash and then some. It doesn’t clump or dry out and magically show’s up eyelashes that you never knew were there. It’s so good in fact, that it makes me look like I have no eyelashes in the first picture… The only claim that didn’t ring true for me is the curl. It definitely didn’t curl my lashes but then again, no mascara ever has! It also takes some elbow grease to remove, so opt for something like Bioderma Sensibio or an oil based cleanser.

I’m super impressed by this, definitely worth the investment! They’re Real arrives at Benefit Counters in the Middle East mid-August and will cost a not too unreasonable 110AED (11BD/21E). Form an orderly queue ladies…

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Simone Loves… Summer Blush

Ah summer, and blusher. Two of my favourite things.

I’ve noticed a shocking trend in my blushers (not really). They are mostly powder and of coral origin. I really need to get over the coral phase. Its been going on too long now I feel. Above are the blushers I’ve been reaching for over the last couple of weeks. Some are prettier then others but they all make me happy in some shallow way.

Coralista is like an old reliable, nice smelling friend. The packaging is cute plus it never fails to make me look alive. ‘My Paradise’  from the Surf Baby Collection was an impulse buy. I couldn’t not own the packaging and the gold leaf/butterfly/whatever it is overlay. It’s a beautiful coral shade (sigh) and the gold design is fab as a highlight.

MAC Petticoat Mineralize Skin Finish is another favourite. It reminds me of strawberry ice cream and looks fabulously fresh on the skin. It doesn’t smell as good as No. 16 Rose Coup De Foudre by Bourjois though. Sort of like roses but not. It has a slight shimmer in it and again, it’s almost coral but not quite. Phew!

The last one has me on the fence. Some days I love it and other days it nearly blinds me. Neon orange blusher by Sleek, also known as Pan Tao. There’s no getting around the shade. Its orange, but somehow it works. At present, as I am a little bit paler then usual, its not working. I’ll hold on to it though. Come September I shall be sunning myself like no woman’s business!

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Simone Loves… Maybelline Falsies Volume Mascara

I quite like this mascara. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now so I thought it merited a post!

The brush is amazing, it’s like using a cushion on your eyelashes but in a good way. It also has a slight curve which makes it easier to grab every single lash. It’s a little bit clumpy so requires some brushing through but for AED51 (5BD/10euro) you can’t really go wrong!

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Simone Loves… Revlon PhotoReady Concealer

I’ve been using this concealer for the last week and I have to say, I’m a little bit in love. It’s a beautiful creamy concealer that works on even the toughest blemishes and melts into the skin when patted with a finger.

Revlon say: “It contains photo-chromatic pigments that bend, reflect and diffuse light to leave you with an airbrushed finish. The concealer stands up against harsh, unflattering light through the diffusing formula while also providing complete yet virtually undetectable coverage”.

I’m not sure about it standing up to harsh unflattering light, as I haven’t tried that aspect of it yet! It does provide a practically undetectable coverage though. It’s oil free, which is perfect for my combination to oily skin and the fact that its SPF20 is a major added bonus. I have to admit I’ve also been using it as a general touch up stick during the day as I just love the texture so much!

Revlon say that you can use this under the eye’s too. Usually I would disagree, but you might actually get away with it as its so creamy. It comes in a dinky little tube with 3.5g and costs 40AED (4BD/8euro), supremely bargaineous. Winner!

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Simone Loves… Clinique Chubby Sticks

I’ve been lusting after these for quite some time but much to my dismay, they haven’t arrived in the Middle East. When I inquired at my local Clinique counter, I received a blank look and this;  “I think they sell sticks upstairs”.

My interest waned a little but when I spotted a great review on Lady of the Lane  I knew I had to order them.

Chubby Sticks are just that, really cute chubby sticks that are available in 8 shades. The blurb from Clinique says;  “Super-nourishing balm loaded with mango and shea butters. Just what dry, delicate lips need to feel comfortably soft and smooth”.

My favourite shade is Chunky Cherry (left), a really juicy reddish pink. Very smooth and soft to apply with great colour payoff. Once applied, it does feel very moisturising and not at all sticky. Bonus!

The retail price is 14GBP/16Euro/9BD for 2 grams of product. A little expensive for a lip balm no doubt but worth it my opinion for the excellent quality, amount of product and cute packaging!

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Simone Loves… Loose Shimmer Powder

I change up my makeup routine and the products I use for the summer months. Primarily as I like to wear less makeup and just look more bronzed/glowing but also because the temperature here can reach up to 50 degrees celcius so I need products that feel light/don’t cake/stay put. I’ve had a few emails regarding products that work in the heat so I’m going to do a few short posts on the products I use during the summer and why I use them.

First up is powder. I switch from compact powder to loose powder during the summer as even the smallest concentration of compact powder can cake and pool on the skin.
Whether its the bronze variety or the neutral shimmering variety, my go-to loose powder has always been Laura Mercier’s Loose Shimmer Powder, one of the best quality loose powders on the market.

I use two in particular during the summer, Sun Dust & Star Dust. The powder is so fine that it doesn’t look like powder and leaves hardly any trace on the skin.
Star Dust (above right) is a natural toned loose powder with super fine shimmery particles, perfect for using on the high points of the face for some subtle highlighting. I’ve been using this for years both personally and in my kit.
A few years ago I sampled Sun Dust (above left) and immediately fell in lust! A gorgeous warm bronze shimmery powder that gives a lovely glow, essential when I need to keep my face out of the sun in the very hot months but still want to look tanned!
Although the powders are very light and feel like nothing on the skin, they provide a nice glow and last throughout the day.
Do you change your makeup routine during the summer? Any products you swear by?
The next post will be eye products, mainly of the waterproof variety!